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History buffs are eyeing up another exciting festival weekend in Skibb

August 16th, 2018 5:05 PM

By Brian Moore

Journalist Kevin Myers addressing last year's festival.

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FOLLOWING hot on the heels of last year’s success, history buffs are once again making their way to Skibbereen for the second West Cork History Festival.

The festival,  over the weekend of August 17th-19th, is set to attract some of the country’s foremost historians to West Cork to take part in what promises to be a weekend filled with debate and fascinating stories of local and international history – all with a West Cork connection.

‘Once again, we will have a mix of subjects and periods,’ Victoria Kingston told The Southern Star. Victoria, along with her husband Simon is organising the festival, which takes place at their home, Rosebank House, outside Skibbereen, near Liss Ard.  

‘Alvin Jackson will kick us off talking about Redmond and Carson, on the centenary of the former’s death,’ Victoria said. 

‘We will consider 1918, as both the end of one conflict and the beginning of others across Europe and the Middle East and we will have contributions on Ireland in the year of the First Dáil.’

Other subjects up for discussion will include Irish women’s suffrage and the ‘flu epidemic in Ireland following WWI. There will also be a range of speakers on the Revolutionary period, including Linda Connolly on violence against women at that time. Cal Hyland will talk about the experiences of the Protestant community in West Cork and a Dunmanway double bill will see Rev Cliff Jeffers screening his documentary about the Sam Maguire bells with Kieran Connolly speaking about his work on Maguire. 

‘We will also have a strand on history as mediated through art with Niamh O’Sullivan, the curator of the Coming Home famine art exhibition,’ Victoria added. ‘Peter Murray will talk about George Victor du Noyer, and Niamh McNally will speak about Margaret Clarke.’ 

Movie screenings will include ‘Oh! What a Lovely War’ and ‘Citizen Lane’. 

Local singer Jessie Kennedy will perform the Carbery Songs on the Saturday night.

While last year’s inaugural history festival proved a great success, there were moments of controversy when highly charged and vocal disagreements arose, following a viewing of the documentary An Tost Fada (The Long Silence), between Eoghan Harris and former Sinn Fein Cllr Donnacha O’Shea. 

And on the final morning of the festival it was announced that Kevin Myers, one of the high profile speakers, had been fired from his job at The Sunday Times following highly controversial comments in his weekly column.

To book tickets and for a full festival programme, log on to the website at westcorkhistoryfestival.org. 

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